HP Revs Up Two-Way Blades

HP powers its ProLiant BL20p server with Intel's 3.2GHz Xeon DP chips.

Hewlett-Packard Co. is cranking up the processor speed of its two-way blade server, the ProLiant BL20p.

HP has put 3.2GHz Xeon DP chips from Intel Corp. into the blade server. The chip offers up to 1MB of Level 3 cache and supports up to 8GB of memory. Paul Miller, vice president of marketing for HPs Industry Standard Servers group, called the two-way space "the sweet spot of the market for blades."

The upgraded BL20p, which also includes an embedded Smart Array 5i array controller and gigabit NICs standard, is available immediately starting at $5,309.

As part of Fridays announcement, HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., also said that it has sold more than 50,000 blade servers and added two more companies—VMware Inc., which helps virtualize ProLiant servers, and PolyServe Inc., which provides clustering software—to its HP Blade Alliance Program. Clustering and virtualization technologies are key parts of HPs utility computing initiative, Adaptive Enterprise, Miller said.

Miller said the blade market—which International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass., has said should reach $3.9 billion by 2006—has matured over the past year, getting good traction in research laboratories and in high-performance computing environments. He expects corporate customers to begin adopting the technology more in 2004.